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Water Management

Sunday, Feb 22, 2015

Hi! My name is Thar Pyi Kway. Welcome to read my second blog post. Now I am going to write about Water Management. During the mornings we learned in the classroom and in the afternoons we leaned by doing work. I would like to share with all of the people in the world. I hope it will be helpful to you all. This lesson was helpful to me and my community.

 

In class we learned about how to do the swales, ditch, check dam, A-frame, water level, terrace and sheet mulching.

 

A swale is a shallow trench on the contour of the land. If the rain comes they will hold more water for the crops. You also need to plant trees or other plants beside the swale. If you don't plant the plants, erosion will happen and the water will be dirty. For the the swale we can make many steps. If you have sloped ground you can make 3 or 4 steps.

 

If we make the ditch it is good for managing water too, because it moves the water. The ditch is used to move the water to another place. If you don't want the water to go into the ground you can make it with concrete. I saw some of the people they used the ditch to take water from the river. I think I will go back to do this thing.  

 

We also learned about how to do check dams. They are useful to slow down the water. For the check dams we can make many ways. We can make with bamboo, wood, concrete or rocks. We can use natural things to make check damns, so we do not need to pay a lot to do it and it is easy to fix.

 

We also learned about how to make the A-frame and water level, and also how to use them! For the A-frame the materials that we need is: three pieces of bamboo or wood, 3 or 4 nails to nail on the wood or bamboo, a rock that is not too small and a small string to tie the rock to make the weight. You can make the three pieces of wood or bamboo like “A” shape and nail the corner with nails and tie the string to the top corner. First you need to tie the rock and find the center and you will mark with pen. Now I will explain how to use so you will find the level ground. You put the A-frame somewhere and see if the string hits the mark or not. If it does not hit the center, the ground is not level. You need to move the other side of the A-frame until you find level ground. Once you find the level spot, you can put the stake to mark the spots. For me the lesson is my favorite.

 

A frame

In this photo we tried to find level ground. My friend said, "A-frame is so easy to make and find the level ground."

 

For the water level the materials that we need is: two sticks, hose and some water. We also can use the water level to find the level ground. For this we mark how many centimeter [ + ] and [ - ] on both sticks, and we tie the hose to both sticks. If we see both sides are the same or only a little bit different it's level.

 

Terrace Gardens at Grace Garden

We learned these topics, but we also worked as much as we could. I'm not good at digging the dirt. We learned about how to make terraces. We have to dig the ground to be flat, level and nice, even though the ground is not flat originally. We need to make sure the edge is a little bit higher than the other side. If we make like that it will hold the rainwater and the water will go into the ground. The water will become clean and the plants will get clean water. Then the plant will grow very good.

 

Terrac

In this picture, we start to dig the terrace. This lesson is so hard for me because I'm not good at digging.

 

After you dig the terrace you need to grow the plants that have strong and long roots. For Grace Garden we staked with bamboo and we planted the vetiver grass in the tires. That grass can grow very good. The roots go into the ground a meter deep and they can hold the water. They also control the erosion. When the rain comes the terraces harvest the rainwater to increase infiltration of the water for the plants. The terraces is useful for flood prevention, land drainage, agriculture water distribution, and preventing soil erosion.

 

We also learned about how to make sheet mulch. First we need to put cardboard  all over the place that we will do sheet mulching and we put the grass that we cut down and we spray the water all over the sheet mulching to make wet. This is because you need water for decomposition. Also we use the grass we cut to make new compost. It is sustainable.

 

sheet mulch

We make sheet mulch. It was fun for me and my friend!!!!!!!

 

I think it will be helpful to my community to save the water and I will go back to teach them how to do it. Thank you for reading my second blog post and May God Bless You All!!!

Sustainable Agriculture Natural Soil Enhancement

Friday, Feb 06, 2015

 

Hi, my name is Kyaw Yeah I come from Burma at Waterfall Village. First we learned about healthy soil and OM-Organic Matter. We also used many things to make compost. Any thing that was alive. We can use three things for the plants, compost , EM -[Effective Microorganisms ] and humus, because in healthy soil the nutrients can live there. In raining season the humus holds nutrients.

 

We also learned how to make a compost pile. We took half carbon rich brown stuff and half nitrogen rich green stuff. For example corn husk and banana leaf are green and brown. We put then in layer by layer.

 

Another one was how to make Effective Microorganisms. First we cut bamboo and we put the rice into the bamboo and we covered it with paper and plastic. After that was finished we put it in a healthy place, like near bamboo and near healthy trees. Then we dug a hole and put near bamboo and waited for 3 days. After that 3 days were finished we it took out and now you can use it for many things. You can use it use it for the plants, pigs, chickens and for the compost. You can spray the pigs and other animals 3 times a day to keep them healthy. Before you use it for the plants and for the animals you need to filter out the liquid EM and mix with water. 20 parts water to 1 part EM Teacher Kara taught us about Bio-char and how to prepare the things we needs. First we cut wood scraps into approximately 3cm x 30 cm pieces. We put the wood tightly into a gassifire, and than we set the gassifire on top and we burned it then we waited for 1-2 hours and we removed chimney and sealed the gassifire with mud to stop the combustion process. After the charcoal has cooled you take out the charcoal and put it a mixture of water and manure for a long time. Add it to the soil and you will get good soil and better than before. We also made charcoal with cornhusk but if you want the best charcoal, make it with wood scraps.

 

These things are very interesting to me, because before I never made them and never saw. I liked this because I want to improve and develop my community. The computer is also interesting, I will teach about computer at my village. Another thing I like a lot is learning English, because the English language is very important, because the whole world uses that language most.

 

When this training is finished I will help my teacher at Wang Pha. We already have land at Kway Boh. We have not planted fruits and vegetables yet. I will help my teachers to make healthy soil, compost, and compost pile. We have a lot of land at Kway Boh and I will show them how to use it best. Usually at our school we always buy vegetables and food at markets. If we can make good soil and nutrients, we will plant ourselves and eat our own. I will improve the foods and plants more and more at Kway Boh. This is my dream and this is my purpose and also my goals.

 

These are the first steps, other steps are about my village and my community. In my village the people always plant corn and beans. They plant corn from rainy season until hot season and some times they were get very good corn and beans. One year they were doing a lot and they were so tired. This is why I came to learn about these things like Sustainable Agriculture. When I finish this training I will shows them how to make healthy soil. I will teach them. In my village usually they can't write. So I will draw pictures for them to show them. I will help in my community and to development the village. To help my community is my hobby.

 {3 pictures }

 

 

Kyaw Win said today was a very amazing day, because we make charcoal.

 

When we made Bio-char it was so hard, because we made it for the first time. We have to cut a lot of woods scraps, but it was fun. We burned the wood and the fire came up to the top of the chimney.

“Kyaw Win said when we burned the Bio-char the fires comes up out of the chimney, it looked very wonderful”

 

Other ideas you think of can work here too. Yes, if we have healthy soil and nutrients we can plants many things. We can put seeds into healthy soil. If you do this it's sustainable, and then you will feel blessed from heaven

 

This is us having fun in english class

 

 

 Thank you every one. Have a good day.

 Thanks you for reading my letters, you will have fun.

 

Financial Literacy

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015

Hi! My name is Paw Leh Moo Mahone. I'm from H.S.T.K. School. I came to Grace Garden to have training for 6 months. We have learned about many things, but I'm going to explain and tell you about Financial Literacy, most of this lesson talks about money.

 

 

These are our BGET students (minus one). We visit Mae Usu Cave 0n 1st February, 2015

 

In this lesson there were 5 sessions.

Session 1: Market session

Market session is a game that teaches us how to use our money and make our own choices. I like this game a lot because it’s taught me how to use my money and how to fill up the time when I have nothing to do.  For example, you wake up in the morning and you have so many things to do, but you have a choice to do what you want to do first. You can work or do something else.

I had a good time while playing this game. It is very difficult to play this game but fun!!

Session 2: Goal and money beliefs

In this session, there was an activity. This activity was called Minefield. I'll hope you all know this game very well. I am not going to explain to you how to play but I am going to tell you about what this game related to.

This game related to our lives. Sometimes our life is a little bit like the minefield. We start out here and we try to move forward.

What do we call the place we want to go? The final point of the game?

The answer to this question is a goal!!

This session encouraged me that I have to know what I want to achieve in my life and find the ability to move forward safely towards that goal.

 

 

This is when our Bget students join the training in Mae Sot WH school.

 

Session 3: What are savings? Marketing saving plans

     This lesson helped us to:

  • define our household income and expense,
  • define savings and its different uses, and
  • make a realistic personal saving plan.

It taught me to save my money and how to expense my money.

This session was very difficult for me to understand. When I first learned this session, it made me feel bored and I didn't even think about this session. But at last when I thought a bout it, it is fun and taught me many things.

One of my friends said, “it is very difficult for me to save money. Because if I see something pretty, I want to buy it. Because I am a girl who loves the pretty things!”

Saving is very important for us. When we save our money, it helps us to solve many problems. For example, pretend that you are working every day and you save 10% of your money each day but one day you get sick and you cannot work anymore. At that time, you can use the money that you've saved.

I will go to my community and teach some of them how to save money, because most   of them don't save any money. They go to work , and if they get money they buy food and some luxury things. They didn't save any money. When the problem comes they don't know what to do, because they didn't have any money. At that time the only thing they can do is to borrow money from someone else. Now they have dept. How can they pay it back? They have to work harder to pay back their dept.

I have seen these things happen in my community. My goal is to help them to save money. So that they can solve the problems when problems come.

Session 4: Household budgeting

This session helped me to describe several reasons for keeping a budget plan, and what can happen when there is no personal budget.

To create your own budgeting plan:

Identify total income and identify total expenses. How much can you save? Compare to your saving goals and create a budget plan.

I tried to create my own budget plan, but it is difficult for me because I can't control my self to buy the luxury things. I know that when I get older, I can do it. It is very good to   create a budget, because it helps us with our money.

Session 5: Time management / time as value

This is the final session of the lesson. This session, gave me the power to determine how I use my time every day. If I manage my time well, then the money that I manage could grow. This session also taught me how to manage my time and to find a new ways to use my time.

It is very good to manage our time. In class we created a chart for example. While we were creating a chart in class, one of my friends told a joke and said “Ha! Now I know how to save my money. I will save my money and I will buy my own airplane!!” And my other friends laughed and say back to him “ Of course you will get an airplane. Just in your dreams. Not in your real life.”

When I learn this session, it made me very happy and was very helpful to me.

Financial literacy community training:

After we had training for one week, we went to teach a community about financial literacy. We taught them for one week. Most of the participants were women with their babies. So it was very difficult to teach them because their babies cry a lot. First we taught them about the Market Session. The participants liked it a lot, they have a lot of fun but later they had to sit and listen so they got a little bit lazy but they tried very hard. I taught them Session 2 .It was very difficult to teach them and I was very afraid. For me, teaching people is more difficult than learning, because this was the first time for me to teach people like this. Before I went to teach them, I thought it will be very easy but now I realize that it is not easy for me. I have a quote that says “thinking is easier than doing.” I agree with this quote.

What about you? Eventhough teaching people is difficult, I still have to try. Another  quote says “I can accept failure, every one fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.” by Michael Jordan

 

This is when me and my friends went to teach the community training.

I had a good time during this training.  

Thanks for reading my block post!!!

 

 

 
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Border Green Energy Team

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